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Upper West Side Hostel Hosts Music Festival

By Claire Oliver | July 18, 2013 9:53am
 Afrobeat ensemble Zongo Junction is one of nine groups set to perform Sunday at Hostelling International.
Afrobeat ensemble Zongo Junction is one of nine groups set to perform Sunday at Hostelling International.
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Facebook/Zongo Junction

UPPER WEST SIDE — Live music, barbecue and plenty of beer.

The essentials of summer are coming together on the Upper West Side this weekend, when Hostelling International hosts the uptown finale of the third annual Music Frees All Festival July 21.

The Music Frees All Day Party’s nine-band lineup includes afrobeat ensemble Zongo Junction and Latin soul group Karikatrua. The night will end with the 20-person No Mirrors Orchestra, which Hostelling International’s Community Engagement Manager Ari Joseph describes as a “super group” of performers from the festival’s other bands.

The eight hours of festivities at the hostel, at West 104th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, will kick off at 1 p.m. on its outdoor patio. Entry for a single day costs $10 at the door, and includes access to bands, performance art and three beers from Brooklyn Brewery, organizers said.

The party will cap the three-day Music Frees All Festival, which will feature more than 20 local groups playing shows at Bowery Electric and Rockwood Music Hall on the Lower East Side and Bell House in Gowanus.

“It’s kind of all over the place,” Joseph said of festival’s sound. While there’s a focus on dance music, alternative pop and indie bands will also make appearances.

Beyond the music, Sunday’s party will feature tap dancing, circus performers and performance art. Attendees can purchase barbecue cooked by Brooklyn Bangers.

This is Hostelling International’s first year of involvement with the festival. The hostel hosts its own twice-monthly music series, Newer Sounds, and got connected with the event through the series’ organizer, Joseph said.

The festival, in its third year, is a fundraiser that supports Brooklyn-based producer Scott Harding, who was paralyzed from the chest down in 2008 when a driver in a stolen car hit the taxi he was riding in, according to the festival's website. Proceeds from the party’s $10 cover fee, along with the three-day $35 festival pass, will go toward the cost of Harding's ongoing care.

“It’s going to be a beautiful day — the bands are all excellent,” Joseph said. “It should be a lot of fun.”

The Music Frees All Day Party is open to those 18 and older. A three-day festival pass can be purchased here.

Editor's Note: An initial version of this story reported that the Music Frees All Day Party would offer unlimited beer, but attendees will be limited to three beers apiece.